With the support of the National Council of Social Service, ADA piloted “Voices for Hope” in January 2019. It is the first empowerment, self-advocacy programme in Singapore that aims to equip persons with dementia and their caregivers with relevant skills to step up and actively share their stories, needs, and views on public platforms.
In March 2019, ADA was the first in Asia to introduce the Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE) developed by Dementia Australia. This virtual reality application offers users first-hand experience on dementia and aims to enhance training for caregivers, professional care staff, industry partners, and social services.
The first national survey on dementia in Singapore was released in April 2019 in collaboration with the Singapore Management University. With more than 5,600 people in Singapore surveyed including persons with dementia, caregivers and the general public, it revealed that nearly 3 in 4 persons with dementia feel rejection and loneliness, and more than half feel that others act as though they are less competent due to their condition, citing stigma as the reason.
Following the survey, proactive steps were necessary to raise awareness on dementia and reduce the stigma surrounding the condition. ADA developed a #DespiteDementia campaign which aims to fight the dementia stigma. #DespiteDementia emphasises that with support from families and communities, it is still possible to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. The first out of three videos was launched on 21 September 2019, on World Alzheimer’s Day at the World Alzheimer’s Month Carnival, Orchard *SCAPE.
On 29 October, ADA Headquarters officially moved from 70 Bendemeer Road, Luzerne Building to a new space at 20 Bendemeer Road, BS Bendemeer Centre. Housing together our Caregiver Support Services, Academy, Family of Wisdom (Bendemeer) and our corporate services, ADA occupies the first floor of the building, making it wheelchair accessible and convenient for everyone.
In December 2019, ADA released a research report on the Impact of the ADA’s Arts & Dementia Programme, which demonstrated that implementing non-pharmacological arts-based programmes for those with dementia have positive outcomes, along with a progressive shift in societal attitudes towards dementia. The report, which received a research grant from the National Arts Council, involved 165 people, comprising of 44 persons with dementia, 46 caregivers, and 75 members of the community.
With positive evidence-based results on ADA’s Arts & Dementia programme, and with the support of the Chua Foundation, ADA piloted a capability-building programme “Journey with Arts & Dementia” (JADe) in October 2019. JADe aims to train individuals to spearhead and lead in reminiscence engagements for persons with cognitive impairment and dementia in the community.